Big waves in winter
How many very happy days did we spend as a family and on my own down there on the Undercliff Walk? Where to start! Cycling along there with my brothers and friends. Going fast through all that chalky mud. Getting covered up your back. In the winter time all waiting for that big wave to come crashing up against the wall. The water splashing up against the wall high in to the air. And then you got to ride like a bat out of hell before you got soaked.
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Thrills of the nudist beach
If the tide was out, you could go around the end of the cliffs and on to the nudist beach. As a teenagers, this blew your mind – specially if there were families down there with teenage girls as this was a PROPER nudist beach. I remember the Daddy Longlegs railway line concrete sleepers. They are roughly one hundred yards from the beach and can quite easily be seen at low tide. We used to try and jump each one providing they were not covered in seaweed.
Flushing out the crabs
The railway line concrete sleepers was where all the big crabs would be. I remember putting my hands under trying to flush them out. Or getting my fingers nipped. The first beach had a sewer pipe. We used to see how brave we were to see how far we could walk up it. Always looking over your shoulder to make sure the sea was not coming in behind you.
Alive with rats at night
I remember cycling back along there at night from Saltdean. It was alive with rats running all over the place. My sister took a family friend’s dog for a walk with some friends down there one early evening. Somebody threw a stone not thinking, out to sea. The dog chased after it and went straight over the wall. Luckily the sea was out. He landed safely on the shingle. Amazingly he didn’t hurt himself.
Of course I remember winkle picking. My whole family used to go down there picking winkles. We would then take them home. You needed to pick the eye out with a pin and then Mum would boil them. I didn’t like them myself. Those were great days and I will always have those lovely memories.